Dry grass poses wildfire risk for outdoor burning
Home and property owners in much of the Lower Peninsula should avoid outdoor burning for the next few days because dry conditions could cause fire to spread.
Dead vegetation such as grasses, leaves and residual crops are dry and ignite easily, said Jeffrey Vasher, fire management specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Roscommon Incident Command Center.
“Everything right now is just so dry and dead from the winter,” he said. “It can burn quick and fast.”
The advisory applies to much of the state south of U.S. 10 to the state line, said Paul Rogers, fire officer supervisor in the DNR’s Plainwell office.
“There are going to be intermittent higher winds through the weekend,” Rogers said. “We’ve had several fires through the past days, and smaller structures have been lost.”
Rogers said it will be best to hold off burning until after rains arrive to soak the ground.
Those who plan to burn yard debris or other materials at any time should contact the DNR for a burn permit at michigan.gov/burnpermit or contact their city, village or township for local burning rules.
State law allows for the burning of leaves, grass, limbs, brush, stumps and evergreen needles. It also allows for burning some types of household paper materials that do not contain plastic, foam, chemically treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals or hazardous materials. Those must be contained in a covered metal or masonry burning vessel with an opening no larger than ¾ of an inch.